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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Central Queensland Coroner sworn in

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Central Queensland Coroner sworn in

    The Newman Government has delivered on another election commitment with the new Central Queensland Coroner sworn-in at the Mackay Magistrates Court today.

    Speaking at the ceremony this morning, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Jarrod Bleijie said it was a significant milestone for the region.

    “Today we have made history with the appointment of a magistrate to Central Queensland’s new coronial office,” Mr Bleijie said.

    “Mr David O’Connell, a well-respected member of the Mackay legal community, is a worthy appointee and his professional and personal life experience will serve him well in this challenging role.

    “There has been a significant increase in demand for coronial services across the State with reportable deaths increasing by 26 per cent between 2007 and 2011.

    “The backlog of cases has also grown. At the end of the 2010-11 financial year, there were 320 cases older than two years still waiting to be closed.

    “The provision of resources and specialist expertise to focus solely on coronial matters will mean improved quality and timeliness of investigations.

    “Reducing court backlogs and waiting times will in turn ease some of the distress felt by families at what is always a difficult time.”

    Mr Bleijie said the Central Queensland Coroner would investigate all reportable deaths from Proserpine down to Gayndah.

    “The work of a coroner is vital to prevent future deaths, bring closure to the families of those who have died and assist in providing justice to victims and their families,” he said.

    “A coroner is also instrumental in building relationships with police and hospitals, which significantly improves efficiency.

    “Again, I would like to congratulate Mr O’Connell and wish him all the best for this next stage of his career.”

    Media contact: Lisa O'Donnell - 0400 986 432